Mitchell Co Kills Pets Slated for Rescue

A statement from the Mitchell Co Correctional Institute in Georgia indicates an adoption rate of just 21% at the pound and reads, in part:

On September 1, in accordance with its policies and procedures, Mitchell County Animal Control was regretfully forced to reduce the population of stray animals in its custody in order to maintain humane conditions within its capacity limitations. The County’s priority is to find homes for these animals as often as possible. However, with limited resources to house the constantly growing number of stray or forfeited animals, the County has no choice but to control the population.

Some of the dogs killed by Mitchell Co on September 1, as posted on Facebook.

Some of the dogs killed by Mitchell Co on September 1, as posted on Facebook.

Translation: On September 1, Mitchell Co killed 25 dogs and 22 cats – nearly every animal in the facility, including many who were slated for rescue:

“There was animals that were put down that were promised to be safe and to come in and see the furnace going was devastating,” said [pound volunteer Kathy] Harrell.

Imagine volunteering for a shelter and walking in to care for the animals you are helping to get rescued only to find them in the fucking furnace.

Apparently Ms. Harrell is one of the lucky ones allowed to help shelter staff do the jobs they aren’t doing.  Other rescuers have reportedly been turned away:

Janet Goree says her efforts to help get animals adopted from Animal Control have been denied.

“We are all volunteers that want to see this happen, but the Animal Control won’t let us help,” said Goree. “The doors are firmly shut in our face.”

An adoption rate of 21%, killing animals rescuers are willing to save, turning away volunteers – it doesn’t look like Mitchell Co is doing the best they can, as we so often hear from killing apologists.

To be fair, I took a look at the facility’s website to see how they market animals.  It directed me to this page to see the available pets:

mitchell co 1

Screengrab from the Mitchell Co website on September 9, 2015.

Screengrab from the Mitchell Co website on September 9, 2015.

Just in case this half-assed effort for two dogs (or halves of two dogs) wasn’t the only effort being put forth by the county, I went back to Google and found this page:

Screengrab from Mitchell Co website on September 9, 2015.

Screengrab from Mitchell Co website on September 9, 2015.

Now true, they only have one dog advertised here, and she’s from 4 years ago, but how about a round of applause for managing to upload the entire photo?  Finding homes for shelter pets is clearly a “priority” for the county.  And they are “regretfully forced” to kill animals, whom they haven’t marketed and whom rescuers are willing to take.  But nobody wants to kill animals.  That would be like, evil.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Lost, Microchipped Pets – Emphasis on LOST

In theory, microchipping your pet is an excellent way to help get him back home should he ever get lost.  In reality, microchips are useless if the organization taking in lost pets doesn’t scan for them or contact the registered owner (and the alternate contacts, if necessary).  There have been a spate of stories recently involving microchipped lost pets being found and the owner not being contacted.

A Pennsylvania family who left their microchipped German shepherd Sophie with a relative while they went on vacation this month only found out she had gotten lost on July 4th after they returned home on the 13th.  They immediately called the HS of Westmoreland Co and learned their pet had been impounded on July 6 and adopted to a new owner six days later.  The HS says it tried to reach the registered owner (whom the family obtained the dog from) listed on Sophie’s microchip but the voicemail at that number was not set up.  After the 48 hour holding period elapsed, they offered the dog for adoption.  The original owner disputes the shelter’s claim about her voicemail.

Either way, if a chip’s first phone number doesn’t yield results, there are always the alternate contacts as well as registered mail and good old knocking on door.  But I guess that sounds like work.  The HS claims the adoption is legal and that the family never legally owned Sophie anyway because they hadn’t licensed her.  So stuff it, basically.


In Sonoma Co, CA, a lawsuit has been filed by the original owner of a 10 year old tuxedo cat who was microchipped at the time he went missing several years ago.  The current owner, who says she bought the cat 5 years ago from a rescuer she met through her veterinarian, only found out the cat was chipped last year when she took him to a new vet who scanned him.  She attempted to register the chip in her own name, prompting the chip company to contact the original owner.  The original owner says she bottle fed the kitten from birth, searched for him extensively when he got lost and still wants him back.  The current owner loves him too and doesn’t want to give him up.

Had either the rescuer or the first vet scanned the cat at the time he was found, he could have been returned to the original owner.  Now two people are heartbroken over the matter and a cat is caught in the middle.


The city of Alton, IL recently eliminated funding for its ACO position, turning those duties over to police.  This week, Alton police responded to a call about an injured dog in a store parking lot.  The 15 year old dog, called Buster, had wandered away from home and apparently hurt his rear leg.  His owner had filed a missing pet report with the police department including a description of Buster and his microchip information.

A witness says she saw police coax him into their car with bologna.  State law requires the officers to take the dog to a vet’s office to be scanned for a microchip.  Once the chip’s information had been read, the owner could have been contacted.  Instead, the officers reportedly drove the dog to the AC facility where one shot him twice with a .12 gauge shotgun and the other put two bullets from his .40 caliber Glock 23 into the pet.  After Buster was dead, a chip scan provided his owner’s information and the owner was notified of his pet’s killing.  Oh and the police love animals:

“We know what our protocol has been up to this point,” said Emily Hejna, public information officer for the Alton Police Department. “We were presented yesterday with some law saying something that might contradict what what we have been using as practice.”

Rather than task the police department with figuring out how to work compliance with some law into their protocol, the city voted to reinstate the ACO.  Hopefully the ACO has – and uses – a chip scanner.  While animals are still alive.


(Thanks to everyone who sent me links for this post.)

ACO Accuses TN Shelter of Acting as “A Puppy Mill for Rescue Groups”

A friend of Cheatham Co ACO Darrell Hooper reportedly tried to adopt a stray Doberman at the pound but was turned away.  The potential adopter was told the dog was being held for a rescue group.  A Doberman rescue in Knoxville is said to have pulled the dog from the pound for free and sold her for $300.

ACO Hooper says this isn’t an isolated incident, especially when it comes to purebreds and puppies, and that he’s brought his concerns to the mayor several times but nothing has changed.  After his friend was prevented from adopting the Doberman, ACO Hooper angrily confronted the pound director in the parking lot:

“I questioned him. I said, ‘So we’re just a puppy mill for rescue groups? Are we just providing them products to sell?'” Hooper said. “He shook his head yes in the affirmative and again he stated to me, ‘You don’t understand the political ramifications of this.'”

The heated argument ended with ACO Hooper punching the director.  He has since resigned and publicly apologized.  But he still wants the county to change its protocols regarding rescue groups.

The local news contacted the director who declined to be interviewed.  They also contacted the rescue group and a representative told them they would have been happy to pay the $50 fee Cheatham Co normally charges to adopters but nobody asked them for any money.

On the one hand, breed rescues offer a valuable service.  They understand the breeds they rescue better than most and that may help them to make more successful matches between dogs and adopters.  A breed rescue would be better equipped to handle special needs cases of their given breed since they have the expertise and resources and ideally might be more motivated to make the investment.

On the other hand, it’s hard to justify a stray dog being left to sit in a pound while an adopter is turned away.  Assuming the dog faced no extreme challenges (e.g. a legally designated “dangerous dog”) and the adopter was just as qualified as the average adopter at the pound, why leave the dog in the cage to take up space needed by other homeless pets and to potentially get sick?

Cheatham Co AC’s website says:

Cheatham County Animal Control is a county government run facility that receives nearly 2200 animals a year with room to house only 50 at a time. Only four staff members clean, feed, treat, bathe, intake, answer phone, and make onsite calls for: at large, cruelty, neglect, and all other issues. The staff also works to save every animal possible with limited resources. Cheatham County is over 360 square miles and is filled with unwanted animals. Our county compliance on vaccinations, spay/neuter, and safety of animals is low. We are leading our staff and our community toward a culture change – which will take time…time our animals do not always have on their side.

It sounds like the Cheatham Co pound could use all the empty cages it can get, like most municipal facilities.  But if ACO Hooper’s allegations are accurate, the pound may be keeping cages filled unnecessarily with “high value” dogs and puppies by holding them for rescues.  Are other pets, particularly those whom no group could expect to sell for $300, being killed by Cheatham Co in order to make space for the white-and-fluffies being held for rescue groups?

All shelter pets have the right to live, regardless of their resale value.  Is anyone in Cheatham Co advocating for the right of all the animals in the shelter to live, political ramifications be damned?  There seems to be a need.

(Thanks Clarice for the link.)

Kern Co Pound Exporting Sick Dogs

The UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program consulted on the troubled Kern Co pound in CA in 2008.  At that time, a report was issued which detailed, among other problems, lack of leadership and rampant disease at the shelter along with recommendations for how to reduce and prevent it.  Standard protocols such as the quarantine of new arrivals and examination/vaccination by vet staff upon intake were on the list.

Fast forward to 2015 and it appears as if disease is still rampant at the Kern Co pound and that few, if any, of the 2008 recommendations from Koret have been implemented.  A group that flies shelter dogs from the area to rescues elsewhere along the west coast recently suspended its partnership with the Kern Co pound after a number of the facility’s dogs were found to be sick upon arrival.  Despite all the dogs having health certificates from the pound’s vet, interim director Nick Cullen admits in an email that in fact some of the dogs had never been vaccinated “due to reported behavioral concerns”.  Three of the sick dogs died.

In response to the rescue’s refusal to take more sick dogs labeled healthy from Kern Co, Cullen has asked Koret to come around for another consult.  I guess he wants a current report to ignore because you know, ignoring the old one is so 2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014.  Cullen also wants to reassure taxpayers that a cleaning chemical used for disinfection at the pound is being diluted correctly.  He had a consultant in on that one too.  So the disinfectant is being diluted correctly and apparently used to clean cages housing sick and/or unvaccinated dogs next to healthy ones.  Pound workers who are not on the vet staff are “examining” the animals and deeming them fit for transport, even if they are deemed unfit for vaccines due to behavior.  The vet is signing the health certificates and then the dogs are loaded onto planes and arriving with symptoms of serious illness.  It sounds shoddy, at best.

Like his predecessor, Cullen blames the public for the pound’s failures:

We are seeing an inordinate amount of illness in animals originating from Shafter, Mcfarland, and Arvin areas. Much of that is due to those communities being less involved in vaccinating animals with core vaccines.

Gee, if only there was some kind of magical way to make sure animals coming into the pound were vaccinated, even if their vaccine history is questionable.  If only there was someone at the pound who would take responsibility for that, somehow.  If only Koret would have told Kern Co about this in 2008 DOT DOT DOT.

(Thanks Clarice for the links.)

Florida Pound Oops-Kills Pregnant Dog Tagged by Rescue

Rosie, as pictured on Facebook.

Rosie, as pictured on Facebook.

A rescue group had committed to saving a pregnant dog called Rosie at the Sumter Co pound in Florida this week.  But pound staff killed her because of a clerical error.  She was supposed to be on the save list but got put on the kill list instead.  Oops:

A mistake was made by a very good employee,” Sumter County Public Works director Richard Baier said.

Gee, I hope they don’t have any really super good employees there.

It’s wrong to kill healthy/treatable dogs.  That right there should have been the staff’s first clue that a mistake was being made when Rosie was walked into the kill room.  It’s also wrong to kill pregnant dogs, causing their unborn pups to suffocate inside the mother’s belly.  That would have been a second clue for the staff that Rosie should not be killed.  But apparently staff at Sumter Co are accustomed to killing healthy pets, including pregnant dogs, and no one even hesitated when killing Rosie.

This is the problem.  It’s why we need systemic shelter reform in this country.

Rosie’s would-be rescuer shared her heartbreak on Facebook.  The county says it will institute a system of cross-checking in order to minimize oops-killings in future.  I guess this is where we’re supposed to be all yay.

(Thanks to everyone who sent me this story.)

Update on Greenville Co “No Rescue/No Adopt” Dog


Millie (fka Beanie)

The dog at the Greenville Co pound who was labeled “No Rescue/No Adopt” by the vet was released last week.  A representative from SNARR pulled her.  I contacted SNARR for an update yesterday and received this response:

Millie (Beanie) is doing well! Other than being really arthritic and having a heart murmur and being blind and super old, she is a sweet sweet girl :-) Millie is very affectionate and loves to be held. Our biggest immediate need for her is a HOME ; whether it be a foster or an adopter. She is currently still in Greenville SC but we can easily bring her up North if need be. So if you know anyone who might be interested please have them contact me ASAP.
Thank you !

Thank you irresponsible public, once again.

Greenville Co Pound: “No Rescue/No Adopt”

Injured dog ID #25277456, wanted by rescue, at the Greenville Co pound.

Injured dog ID #25277456, wanted by rescue, at the Greenville Co pound.

On Tuesday, March 31, an approved rescuer made multiple offers via email to the Greenville Co pound in SC to take dog ID #25277456. This was the response she received from the pound:

On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 9:15 AM, petrescue <> wrote:

Not available for rescue or adoption.
she had a medical evaluation yesterday and her prognosis is not good.
The vet wrote NO RESCUE NO ADOPTS on her card.
This is the same dog you e-mailed about.

328 Furman Hall Road
Greenville, SC 29609
864.467.3983 (office)
864.467.3294 (fax)

The rescuer responded:

Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 9:32 AM
To: petrescue
Subject: Re: Another Schnauzer AHHHH, lol

What is wrong with her? We will treat whatever needs to be treated? What age is she? I will take her no matter what.

Greenville Co pound’s reply:

From: petrescue <> Date: Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 9:34 AM
Subject: RE: Another Schnauzer AHHHH, lol

She cannot be rescued, per the vet.

328 Furman Hall Road
Greenville, SC 29609
864.467.3983 (office)
864.467.3294 (fax)

The rescuer did not give up and wrote to the pound again:

Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 10:49 AM
To: petrescue
Subject: 25277456 URGENT!

I need to know what is wrong with this dog and if she needs medical care right away?
If the vet thinks she is bad off healthwise I want to get 2nd opinion from my vet. If it is the dog being scared issue, I will take her even if she is biting, we have that form for me to sign. Please do not let this dog be put to sleep without me knowing it, let me know what is going on. I am just worried about her that is all. I am ready and willing to help, I am not trying to cause a stir, I just want to help.

She received a response from the pound’s vet:

On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 11:07 AM, petrescue <> wrote:

This dog has severe back issues. There are several collapsed disc spaces in the lumbar region and possibly in the thoracic region as well. There may be some calcified disc material in L3-L4 space. There is bridging spondylosis along a good portion of the spine as well as a likely fracture at the base of the tail causing chronic changes in that region. She has significant pain in her lumbar spine and is unable to walk normally. She has been started on pain management and steroids to try and reduce the inflammation in her spine. She is currently still on her stray hold and she is not available for adoption or rescue at this time. If after her stray hold her prognosis improves on the medication she may be available to an approved rescue.

Assuming she responds to her medication she will need to remain on strict cage rest and steroids for a minimum of 3 weeks. She is likely going to need pain management for the remainder of her life. There is a good chance that, if a disc hasn’t ruptured already, it will soon if she is allowed to run, jump, use stairs, climb, or have any excessive exercise. If she does not improve on her medication she would need a myelogram to determine the exact nature of her spinal disease and develop a treatment plan. Considering the extent of her spinal disease, though, she is unlikely to be a good candidate for surgery. For this reason, if her pain cannot be controlled medically, euthanasia would be her best option.

She will be reevaluated at the end of her stray hold to see if it looks like she could have a good quality of life on pain medication alone or if she will need more extensive diagnostics and care.

Dr. Teri Worl
Shelter Veterinarian
Greenville County Animal Care Services
328 Furman Hall Rd
Greenville, SC 29609

328 Furman Hall Road
Greenville, SC 29609
864.467.3983 (office)
864.467.3294 (fax)

The rescuer again pleaded to be allowed to help the dog:

Date: Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 11:23 AM
Subject: Re: 25277456 URGENT!
To: petrescue <>,

I am willing to help this dog. If euthanasia is her best option than no offense, I would rather be by her side with my vet than her to pass at the shelter. After her stray hold just please let me know we are willing and ready to help this dog. I think no matter the injury, temperament, or health of a dog, if you have someone that is willing to try and not give up the dog you should give them that chance. In my opinion NO ADOPT OR NO RESCUE should never be a option for any animal unless it is actually laying there passing away and you have no other choice. I am going to take this up with Paula Gucker on changing that policy. […] this dog needs someone to fight for her not give up on her!

Someone willing to fight for the dog instead of giving up on her.  Yeah, if only there was some kind of place like that.  A safe haven for lost and homeless animals where they could be sheltered and protected from harm.  Someone should invent that.

(Thank you to the shelter pet advocates who are trying to help this dog.  Please let us know if there are any developments.)

NYC Shelters Killing Animals People are Trying to Save

Sarge, ID #A1028331, on the kill list for today in Brooklyn, as posted on Facebook.

Sarge, ID #A1028331, on the kill list for today in Brooklyn, as posted on Facebook.

Even as New York City Animal Care & Control claims on its website that it has an 80% live release rate, rescuers and adopters complain that the shelter kills animals who have homes lined up as a result of the cumbersome and faulty process required to save animals from the kill room.  The complaint is not new but the NY Post ran an article on the issue this week, placing a spotlight on the problem:

Every night at 6 p.m., the shelter posts a list of “at risk” animals to be euthanized. Rescue groups and members of the public have until noon the following day to reserve them [via NYCACC’s online system]. But the “at risk” list was offline at least one night last week and several times in February due to technical difficulties. And the crashes have tragic consequences.

Remy was reserved via the online system by a rescuer one night last month who paid $52 for her via credit card.  When the rescuer arrived at at the shelter to pick Remy up, she was told there had been a problem with the paperwork and Remy had been killed.  Another rescuer reserved a dog called Lady last month but there was a problem with that hold too.  Lady was killed by shelter staff.

Another rescuer, who asked to remain anonymous, said she calls and sends e-mails to ACC staff after placing holds because she doesn’t trust the system.
“Frustrating things happen,” she said. “I’ve pulled two cats and gotten two different ones. I’ve pulled animals [that were advertised as] 3 years old and were actually 13 years old. “They always say this is because of computer problems,” she added.

When contacted by the Post, NYCACC refused to comment about the computer problems resulting in the needless killing of pets who had homes waiting.  But the spokesman did have a complaint to lodge:  the online system is often used to place “fake” holds on pets just to get them off the kill list for 48 hours.  Imagine that – people acting out of desperation to prevent animals from being needlessly killed at the shelter.  It’s as if the public actually cares about saving the lives of homeless animals.  But NYCACC isn’t going to be fooled into not killing animals and has designed the system to ensure that all animals with “fake” holds will definitely go to the kill room:

When the “fake” adopter fails to the show up within the 48-hour hold period, the animal is euthanized. During that time, a real adopter could have stepped in. But the online system doesn’t allow for a backup rescue after the deadline.


Here’s a thought:  if the online reservation system is failing to save lives – both by accident and by design – and it’s evident that the public doesn’t want healthy/treatable animals killed at the shelter, maybe it’s time to consider ending the practice of killing animals and start doing the job of sheltering.  Make it NYCACC policy that no healthy/treatable animals are killed under any circumstances.  That way, it doesn’t matter if there are a hundred computer glitches a day because no animal is going to be killed as a result.  And the “fake” hold problem is eliminated by virtue of the fact that there is no kill list.  Problems all solved.

(Thanks Anne for the link.)

Rescue Group Denies Foster Family’s Request to Adopt

Kaiya at home with her family, including her photobomb cat, as shown on the WOWT website.

Kaiya at home with her family, including her photobomb cat, as shown on the WOWT website.

Most readers are probably familiar with the term “foster fail”, used to describe the situation which arises when an owner intends to provide a temporary foster home for a pet in need but ends up falling in love with the animal and deciding he can’t part with the pet.  It happens a lot, primarily because foster owners tend to be compassionate animal lovers and the heart doesn’t always fall in line with the head.  It’s a win for the pet since, instead of adjusting to a foster family then being placed in a strange home environment with a permanent adopter, she gets to stay with the family to whom she has already grown attached.  And it’s a win for the rescue group since it’s one less pet in need of advertising, transporting to adoption events and screening applicants for, potentially opening up a space for another animal in need.

The Wilson family in Omaha began fostering a senior dog named Kaiya for Golden Retriever Rescue in Nebraska (GRRIN) one year ago.  They opened their home and hearts to Kaiya and recently decided the bond they’d developed with her was too precious to break.  The family let GRRIN know they wanted to go ahead and officially become Kaiya’s permanent family.  But GRRIN denied the family’s request, without providing any reason, and the group’s president came to the Wilson’s home to take Kaiya away:

Roger Wilson even told the President he was filming a recent interaction when the President came to the Wilson home. The President can be heard on camera telling Wilson, “I’m not going to talk to you about this on camera, I’m here to transport Kaiya.”

The Wilsons had taken Kaiya to their daughter’s home ahead of the president’s visit in order to protect her from being taken.  They are vowing to fight for Kaiya:

“I’m not going to give her up,” said Wilson. “I’ll fight tooth and nail all the way to the end. The dog belongs with us.”

GRRIN’s president told WOWT that an 11 person volunteer board will hear an appeal regarding the adoption at some unspecified future date.  He refused to comment on any legal action the group might take to gain custody of the dog.

GRRIN’s online listing for Kaiya has been removed from its website but the cached version indicates the page was posted in May 2014 and reads:

I am a 7 year old sweetheart. Yep that’s me. I love to hang out, play a little, and cuddle. I do like to play with a ball or a toy, but mostly I like snuggling up. I have terrific house manners and have been trustworthy in the house. Sometimes I get a little frightened but you know how it is when things are new, they can be a little scary. I get along great with cats and am learning to like my foster dog buddy, and I might be ok around much older children. Fast movements can scare me a little. If you like to snuggle, I might be the girl for you.

GRRIN seems to acknowledge that Kaiya was frightened in the first few months while adjusting to her new home environment.  This would not be unusual for any foster dog, especially a senior.  The video accompanying the WOWT story clearly shows how comfortable Kaiya now is with the Wilson family.  But GRRIN apparently thinks it’s in Kaiya’s best interest to take her safe and secure home away from her and place her in another strange environment.  And they won’t say why.

It sounds like another case of a rescue deeming a home good, but not good enough.  In this case it’s particularly bizarre since GRRIN obviously believed the Wilsons were fine as a foster family for an entire year.  Does the group place foster dogs with people they feel are unsuitable to own pets?  Why was Kaiya’s adoption denied?  Is GRRIN one of those groups that believe that good homes need not apply to adopt pets?  A rescue group that doesn’t rejoice at a foster fail is puzzling, to say the least.  How many people, probably including the Wilsons, are learning about Kaiya’s story and deciding fostering is a terrible idea?

Further, this story is yet another illustration of why it’s so dangerous for pounds to send cats to rescuers without holding them first so their owners can reclaim them.  There is little to no legal accountability for rescue groups regarding adoption screening.  They can deny anyone a pet, anytime, for any reason – or as in Kaiya’s case, for no reason at all.  They can deny someone who has clearly been providing a loving, long-term home to a pet while refusing to discuss the matter. This is not what rescue is supposed to be.

(Thanks Clarice for sending me this story.)

AZ Rescue Owner Charged with Felony Cruelty

Scott William Beadles and his wife reportedly operate a tax-exempt rescue called Furry Smiles in Buckeye, AZ.  On January 12, Beadles went to a Petsmart to pick up some kennels belonging to Furry Smiles and told an employee that his pitbull had gotten into a fight with a maltipoo at his home and that he’d killed the maltipoo:

The report stated that Beadles does not own a gun so he “put it out of its misery” by kicking and stomping its head.

The employee apparently notified police. With any luck, this is the most disturbing thing you’ll read today:

The employee told police that Beadles said the small dog was whimpering and trying to crawl to him when he decided to stomp its head until it was dead, according to the statement.

The Beadles’ landlord found the tiny dog’s remains in a trash can on the property.  A necropsy on the dog found puncture wounds and numerous fractures of the skull.

Beadles was arrested and charged with felony animal cruelty.

I wonder how many hoops applicants have to jump through in order to be approved to adopt a pet from Furry Smiles.

(Thanks Clarice for sending me this story.)


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